The iPhone X ushered us into the “expensive iPhone” era. Apple phones were never cheap, but that was the first iPhone to cost a thousand bucks, and it seems to have opened the Pandora’s box, as the new iPhone XS and XS Max models are even pricier, and by a large margin.
And while the U.S. prices make you think about getting a loan, wait till you see the prices in Europe and elsewhere.
In the UK, the iPhone XS costs £999, £1,149 or £1,349, depending on the capacity, while the iPhone XS Max costs £1,099, £1,249 or £1,449. The numbers are the same as the dollar prices in the U.S., but since the British pound is worth quite a bit more than the dollar, the difference is staggering.
For example, the top model of the iPhone XS, converted to dollars, costs $1,760 — a $411 difference. And the fully tricked out iPhone XS Max costs $1,890 — a staggering $441 difference.
In Germany, the 512GB iPhone XS Max costs 1.649 euros or $1,917, a $468 difference. In Italy, it costs 1,689 euros or $1,963, a $514 difference. In Hungary, it’s 577,990 forints or $2,064, a heart-breaking $615 difference.
It actually pays off to fly from Budapest, Hungary to Newark, New Jersey (I found a flight for $429) just to buy an iPhone XS Max, and you’ll still have leftover money for snacks and activities (the calculation does not include import duty and related fees, but you’d be in the green if you counted them in).
Interestingly, in Singapore, the price for the 512GB iPhone XS Max is 2,349 Singapore dollars or $1711, making the difference only $262 — a far better deal than the price difference for last year’s iPhone X. In Australia, the 512GB iPhone XS Max costs 2,369 AUD or $1,703, a $254 difference.
Alright, you might say, but what about the “cheap” iPhone XR? Well, the pricing starts a lot lower than for the iPhone XS, but the differences between European and U.S. pricing are still very much there. For example, the iPhone XR costs £749, £799 or £899 in the UK, depending on the capacity. That’s $977, $1,042 and $1,172, respectively. Affordable? You be the judge.
Apple gadgets were always pricier in Europe and abroad. And the U.S. prices do not include state and local taxes. But the price differences are still quite insane, especially now that the iPhones have gotten crazy expensive to begin with. Even the “affordable” model will likely be out of reach for many. In its financial reports, Apple doesn’t break down its phone sales per region, but it would be interesting to see how these prices will affect its sales outside of the U.S.